Microsoft takes on teen's site MikeRoweSoft.com
Monday, January 19, 2004 Posted: 9:25 AM EST (1425 GMT)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- It's Microsoft versus Mike Rowe-soft.
Rowe, a 17-year-old high school senior and Web designer from Victoria, has angered the software giant by registering an Internet site with the address www.MikeRoweSoft.com.
"Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add 'soft' to the end of it," said Rowe.
Microsoft, however, is not amused.
It has demanded that he give up his domain name. In November, Rowe received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers informing him he was committing copyright infringement.
"I didn't think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me," Rowe said.
He wrote back asking to be compensated for giving up his name. Microsoft's lawyers offered him $10 in U.S. funds. Then he asked for $10,000.
On Thursday, he received a 25-page letter accusing him of trying to force Microsoft into giving him a large settlement.
"I never even thought of getting anything out of them," he said, adding that he only asked for the $10,000 because he was "sort of mad at them for only offering 10 bucks."
Microsoft company spokesman Jim Desler said Sunday, "Microsoft has been in communication with Mr. Rowe in a good faith effort to reach a mutually agreeable resolution."
Rowe is keeping his sense of humor.
"It's not their name. It's my name. I just think it's kind of funny that they'd go after a 17-year-old," Rowe said.